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Project facts

Project manager

Ann Albihn Associaate professor ann.albihn@sva.se

Main applicant

SVA

Partners

Växa Sverige

Sheep Word Ltd Finland

Örebro Univ

EVIRA Finland

Financier

Sandberg´s Foundation

Start/end

2019 - 2020

Tick-borne encephalitis – a food safety risk for humans consuming unpasteurized milk/milk products from goat, sheep and cattle in Sweden and Finland

Tick-borne encephalitis – a food safety risk for humans consuming unpasteurized milk/milk products from goat, sheep and cattle in Sweden and Finland


Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is the most severe tick-borne viral disease in humans in Europe. Annually, around 200-300 human cases are reported in Sweden and 50-80 in Finland. TBEV (TBE-virus) may also infect animals but usually no clinical signs develop. Human outbreaks of TBE have also been associated with the consumption of unpasteurized milk or milk products in several European countries, especially in the eastern part. In general, small ruminants are in focus here and the virus has been detected in milk. This food-borne transmission route seems not to be well-known among consumers. Pasteurization will eliminate the virus and for commercial milk pasteurization is generally compulsory, but it is not uncommon with consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products. In both Sweden and Finland there is a growing interest and enterprise for small ruminant milk production and the milk is mainly for artisan cheese production in farm-based dairys.

The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of TBEV-antibodies and which strains of the virus that are present in herds of goat, sheep and dairy cows in Sweden and Finland by analysing bulk tank milk samples. Also, we will achieve information on if ticks on farms with TBEV seropositive bulk-milk are TBEV positive and thereby recognize potential areas with a food safety risk to acquire TBE. Lastly, we want to suggest recommendations aimed to reduce such food safety risk.


For results see attached file below


Last updated : 2021-01-02